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Missing – Movie Review
January 23, 2023

Synopsis: After her mother goes missing, a young woman works to find her from home, using tools available to her online.
Director: Nicholas D. Johnson, Will Merrick
Stars: Nia Long, Storm Reid, Ken Leung

In 2018, a movie called Searching was released. It starred John Cho, and while the material or style of the film wasn’t new, it was effective. With an $880,000 budget, the movie made $75.6 million, so a sequel wasn’t out of the question. Fast forward five years, and we get Missing.

While the cast is new and the directors are making their directorial debuts, the editors from the first film have stuck around.

Missing follows a teenage girl named June (Storm Reid). Her mother, Grace (Nia Long), is uber-protective, which doesn’t help mend the noticeable distance between mother and daughter. While Grace just wants her daughter to be safe, June doesn’t want to be smothered . . . Didn’t anyone tell Junebug, as her mother calls her, you can’t spell smother without mother?

Missing copies the filming style that made Searching unique. The movie relies heavily on device screens to tell the story: FaceTime camera, Google searches, iMessenger chats, etc. It was very effective in Searching, but in this film feels like rinse and repeat.

Grace and her new boyfriend, Kevin (Ken Leung), travel to Colombia for a vacation, and then the two of them go . . . wait for It . . .  missing. When June realizes that something is amiss, she goes . . .  searching for them.

The police are involved, and news organizations cover the story as the search for the truth behind the disappearance is underway.

The film demonstrates how powerful the internet and technology can be and may make you consider if your digital footprint is secure enough.

The movie’s score is its unsung hero. Julian Scherle has elevated this movie with a score that isn’t specifically memorable, but it is well done and really enhances the film. The score heightens the drama as the plot twists come, and they come fast and furious.

The performances are good but not necessarily great. The role that stood out was Joaquim de Almeida, who plays Javi. He helps June from Colombia. How do they meet? The internet, of course!

There were times I felt very invested in what was happening, but there were other parts where I checked my watch to see how much longer I had to endure.

The overall story is a mixed bag. Some plot twists work, and some are a bit of a head-scratcher. This film is Searching with different characters and solidifies the point that it is rare for a sequel to outdo the original.

I didn’t regret seeing the movie; I wouldn’t need to see it again.

Grade: C

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